How Many Bad Guys Will Spider-Man Have to Deal With in 'Amazing 3'?

Does a behind-the-scenes publicity shot for next year's "Amazing Spider-Man 2" suggest six times the villainy in 2016's threequel?

Hidden among the most recent batch of publicity photos released by Sony to promote next year's The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is an intriguing shot of the soundstage where the movie was filmed, which has apparently gained an additional adjective that many are taking as a hint for the direction of the third installment of Marc Webb's rebooted superhero saga.

It is, of course, perfectly possible that the "Sinister 6" stenciled on the studio wall is nothing more than an Easter egg for long-term Spider-Fans -- Sinister Six being the name of a team of super-villains who have troubled Spider-Man in various incarnations since The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1, way back in 1964. But, given the tradition of successive superhero movies upping the level of threat a hero has to deal with, it's not impossible that Andrew Garfield will have six different bad guys to deal with in his third outing as Marvel's friendly neighborhood wall-crawler.

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If true, then Sony's Spider-Man franchise will be reviving something that has remained unseen in superhero movies for almost 50 years: the cinematic super-villain team. Sure, we've seen individual super-villain team-ups in the Batman movies -- who can forget Uma Thurman's uber-campy Poison Ivy teaming with Bane in Batman and Robin? -- but for a full-on team, you have to go all the way back to the 1966 Adam West Batman movie.

To be honest, I would have expected Marvel's Avengers franchise to get to this milestone revival first, if only for logistical reasons of keeping all the good-guy team members busy at the same time. Could Spider-Man's fabled bad luck end up with him reestablishing the idea of bad guys ganging up to cause even more mischief -- or is this really just an in-joke taken far more seriously than it deserves?